…in a very yummy battle
The Doclopedia #644
All Bottled Up: Chateau Doubert 1953
Few bottles of this rare vintage still exist, what with the entire vineyard and cellars being destroyed in a meteor strike in 1957. Even if it were not highly valued for its incredible complexity, this wine would still find eager buyers due to the wild rumors associated with the chateau and Claude Doubert, the owner at the time of the strike.
Claude was an accomplished vintner, having the experience of 9 generations passed down to him, but he was also a man given to strange and, some say unhealthy, interests. He had a fascination with old legends and was a collector of odd books and relics. It was also reported, mostly by local prostitutes, that he had a fascination with death and corpses that merged with his sex life. A few times a year, large automobiles full of people would converge on the chateau for parties and “other things”.
Despite his alleged habits and interests, Claude never once ran afoul of the law and his small vineyard continued to produce excellent wins, until 1953.
Although those who tasted the ’53 as a young wine raved about it, saying that once it matured it would be a wine for the ages, Claude said that he would not release it for several years, if ever. His explanation was simply “This wine is special and will mature into something even more special. Something that must only be consumed by special people”.
Nobody knew what the hell he meant and the general consensus was that he was just trying to create interest and drive up prices.
But things got even stranger when he announced that the vineyard would cease production. Again, nobody took him seriously, but the next year, vines went untended and no wine was made. Rumors began to surface that Claude had gone mad, which was given credence when he became reclusive. A few months later, carloads of people began arriving, but nobody was ever seen to leave.
At one point in early 1956, a noted American doctor came to investigate Chateau Doubert and left some weeks later, never having gotten permission to actually go on the property. He told the local people that they should stay away from the place, since “bad things” were going on there. Other scientists and at least three men of the cloth were brought in to consult with him. None of them were smiling when they left.
On the night of May 26th, 1957, while some sort of party was going on full blast, a meteor the size of two railroad boxcars hit the chateau. The resulting crater was just a bit bigger that the size of the vineyard property and pretty much everything on the property was vaporized. Of course, that also included all of the ’53…or so it was believed.
The investigation of the meteor strike was straightforward and fast. The investigations by scientists, including the doctor from America, took several weeks longer. At the same time, hundreds of people all over Europe were being reported missing. Officially, the two events were never linked. After a few months, it was all over and the site was turned into a tourist attraction.
But in 1964, a bottle of the ’53 turned up for sale in London. The wine merchant would only say that the wine had come to him from a “strange little man” who allowed him to verify that it was indeed legitimate. The wine was put up for auction with the expectation of fetching at least four thousand pounds, but it was purchased for ten thousand by that American doctor, who then announced that he would pay more than anyone else for any bottle of Chateau Doubert 1953 that popped up.
Over the next ten years, he bough five more bottles, all at ever increasing prices. Strange rumors said that each bottle of wine was later destroyed in some high tech manner. Other rumors said that religious rituals were used. Some said it was both. Why the wine had to be destroyed was never found out, but it has been confirmed that a bottle of the wine turned up in Russia just days before the tragic accidental detonation of a nuclear weapon that killed 45,000 people in Siberia. Rumors that the explosion was not an accident, but a “cleansing strike” of some sort are scoffed at by the Russians and most other countries. Rumors of the “living dead” are just insane.
A well known rumor has it that there were only ten bottles of wine that survived the meteor strike. If that is true, there are only three left. Some wine collectors are offering tens of millions of dollars for a bottle, but the American doctor still insists that he will beat all offers.
The Doclopedia #645
All Bottled Up: Djinn Fizzle
Look, I never wanted to be a djinn! I just wanted to be a Spirit of Knowledge. You know, the guy that a wizard summons to get some answers for a price. I was good at it, too! I was on the fast track until my parents said, “Guess what? We’ve decided to enter you in djinn school!” I felt like my world had just crumbled away. Actually though, my whole world TURNED TO SHIT!
I’m sorry, but the memory just pisses me off. I should have told my folks to piss off, but, well, if you met my parents, you’d know that would not have flown.
What? Oh, no, those legends are way wrong. A djinn is not a race, but an occupation. Our true racial name is unpronounceable by you.
So, anyway, I did the whole djinn training thing and barely passed the final. After that, it was off to Djinn Central to await a summoning. Unfortunately by then, the people of your world had that whole “genie in a bottle/lamp/jar/fucking old boot/whatever” thing stuck in their heads and so many of us got trapped like that it caused the Grand Council to shut down the djinn business. I’ve heard that most of them went on to become marids, which is what my Dad is.
But me, I got stuck in this friggin’ bottle and generally spend 90% of my time just hanging out waiting for somebody to find it. Then, as you found out, I tend to fuck up the wish that my finder asks for. I’m just not cut out for this life.
Anyway, rules state that if I botch a wish, I can repair the mistake, leave you a thousand gold pieces…which at the current price of gold should set you up pretty well, dude…then transport my bottle somewhere else to wait for the next human to find me.
So, sorry about the fiery dogs. I just heard “a hundred hot bitches” and, well, there ya go. You’re all healed up, here’s your gold and I’m outta here.